UN envoy: Syrian peace talks will not resume next week

BEIRUT -- The UN Special Envoy for Syria Staffan de Mistura said that peace talks won't resume in Geneva on Feb.

See Full Article

25 as he had previously hoped, as Turkey intensified cross border shelling Friday on areas dominated by Syria's main predominantly Kurdish militia.

De Mistura told Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet that he cannot "realistically" get the parties in the Syrian conflict back to the table by then, "but we intend to do so soon."

De Mistura halted the latest talks on Feb. 3, because of major differences between the two sides, exacerbated by increased aerial bombings and a wide military offensive by Syrian troops and their allies under the cover of Russian airstrikes.

In an interview published late Thursday on Svenska Dagbladet's website, de Mistura said, "We need real talks about peace, not just talks about talks. Now the Americans and Russians must sit down and agree on a concrete plan on the cessation of hostilities."

In recent weeks, Syrian government forces captured dozens of villages and towns in different parts of Syria while the predominantly Kurdish Syria Democratic Forces evicted opposition fighters and militants from areas near the border with Turkey in Aleppo province. Ankara strongly opposes the SDF, which is predominantly composed of Kurdish fighters and has become one of the most effective forces on the ground fighting the Islamic State group.

A rebel commander in the northwestern province of Idlib said Turkey was facilitating the movement of other rebel factions specifically in order to weaken the SDF. The commander, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to reveal military secrets, said a mixed coalition of rebel fighters were permitted to pass into Turkey and enter Syria again in order to prevent the city of Azzaz from falling into SDF hands.

Azzaz is currently held by Turkish-backed rebel factions and is surrounded by both SDF forces and Islamic State group fighters.

SDF gains in the area south of Azzaz triggered several days of Turkish shelling, mainly targeting areas recently captured by the group. On Thursday night Turkish troops intensified the shelling with ongoing barrages that lasted until early Friday.

An SDF official said Turkish troops are bombing their positions in border areas, inflicting casualties among civilians. Ahmad al-Omar said the shelling hit several areas including the town of Jandairis on Friday.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the shelling on areas on northern Syria lasted seven hours killing two and wounding others.

The SDF is dominated by the main Kurdish militia known as YPG. Turkey blames both the YPG and its own domestic Kurdish rebels for Wednesday's bomb attack in Ankara that killed 28 people.

Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported late on Thursday that artillery shells had "intermittently" targeted militia positions near Azaz.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Obama speaks with Turkey's president about ISIS fight

    World News CTV News
    Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan addresses a rally in Gaziantep, Turkey, Sunday, Aug. 28, 2016. (Yasin Bulbul, Presidential Press Service, Pool via AP) Source
  • Trial set for Red Deer woman accused of sexually assaulting four-year-old son [Video]

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    RED DEER, Alta. — A trial date has been set for a central Alberta woman accused of sexually assaulting her four-year-old son. The woman, who is 43, was arrested in June at a licensed daycare in Red Deer where she worked. Source
  • 2 charged with trying to bring guns into Disney World parks

    World News CTV News
    ORLANDO, Fla. -- Authorities in Florida say two guests who tried to carry guns into Walt Disney World theme parks have been charged with carrying a concealed firearm. The Orange County Sheriff's Office says 61-year-old Michael Langston of Louisiana was arrested at Epcot, and 23-year-old Baleigh Turner of Alabama was arrested at Disney's Animal Kingdom a short time later on Monday. Source
  • Attawapiskat without permanent mental health workers, months after suicide crisis

    Canada News CBC News
    Permanent mental health resources are still missing in Attawapiskat, Ont., six months after the remote James Bay reserve's chief and council declared a state of emergency over a surge of suicide attempts, according to the North East Local Health Integration Network. Source
  • Manitoba teen in fatal crash donates organs helping 45 people

    Canada News CBC News
    A Manitoba teen who died after being critically injured in a collision near Steinbach, Man. has helped 45 people through organ donation. Tyler Klassen, 16, lost control of his vehicle while passing a car on the gravel Hanover Road West on Oct. Source
  • Teacher's aide allegedly traded naked photos, had sex with daughter's underage friends

    World News Toronto Sun
    A suburban Detroit teacher’s aide allegedly seduced her daughter’s male friends with booze and oral sex, cops say. The boys were 15 at the time. Police say Bridget Caplin, 41, was caught by an online security service called We Tip, who reported an educator was having a sexual relationship with the underage boys. Source
  • No 'patient zero' in HIV epidemic, new research finds

    Canada News CBC News
    At the height of the AIDS epidemic sweeping across North America, a 1987 New York Post headline screamed: "The Man Who Gave Us AIDS." That man was Gaétan Dugas, a gay flight attendant from Quebec who had died of the disease three years earlier. Source
  • Accused Oklahoma cop killer could be dead

    World News Toronto Sun
    OKLAHOMA CITY — Authorities say the Oklahoma man who has been wanted since Sunday in a string of violent crimes, including the killings of two relatives, had a hit list purporting to target several more people. Michael Dale Vance Jr. Source
  • Liberals to introduce incentives to retrofit homes, rules for more net zero new homes

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal government wants existing homes to be more energy efficient and for developers to build more net zero homes. Very shortly the Liberal government is expected to introduce changes to the national building code that will require builders to include more net zero homes — buildings that produce as much energy as they use — in housing developments in the next 15 years. Source
  • Canadian flight attendant cleared as ‘Patient Zero’ in AIDS pandemic

    Canada News Toronto Sun
    A new study has cleared Quebec flight attendant Gaetan Dugas as “Patient Zero” in North America’s AIDS pandemic. The study conclude the AIDS virus was lingering in North America long before HIV-positive Dugas touched down in New York City in 1979 and unwittingly spread the disease to partners, who spread it to others. Source